4 Best Places to Buy Yellow Diamonds Online (Top Picks for 2021)

Looking for the perfect place to buy yellow diamond jewelry online?

You're in the right place! In this Learning Jewelry guide, I'll answer common questions like:

  • What Should You Look for When Buying Yellow Diamonds Online?
  • Are Yellow Diamonds Good for an Engagement Ring?
  • How Do You Know You're Getting a Good Deal?
  • What Are the Red Flags To Watch Out for When Buying?
best places to buy yellow diamonds

Top 4 Best Places to Buy Yellow Diamonds Online

If you need the list quick, here are my top picks for finding quality yellow diamonds from reputable online dealers. Keep reading for more information about each of these shops. 

  1. James Allen
  2. Blue Nile
  3. Ritani
  4. Brilliant Earth

What Are Yellow Diamonds?

Yellow diamonds are the most common fancy colored diamond. Like most colored diamonds, yellow diamonds get their color from impurities in the crystal as it's being formed. In this case, nitrogen molecules absorb blue light in the diamond, causing it to become yellow. Consumers consider yellow diamonds the best yellow gemstone

Yellow diamonds with the best saturation are called canary diamonds. There is controversy in the diamond world though because there's no exact standard. Many people refer to all yellow diamonds as canary diamonds. Officially, that's the term.

But in the jewelers world, a light yellow diamond isn't going to be a preferred canary diamond over a yellow diamond that is intense and saturated to a pure yellow. The more valuable canary diamonds have a pure yellow, void of any brown, red, or orange tint.

But is a yellow diamond right for you? We'll go over all the ins and outs of purchasing yellow diamonds online. Let's get into it!

#1. Buying Yellow Diamonds at James Allen

Buying Yellow Diamonds at James Allen

When it comes to fancy colored diamonds, James Allen has a large selection of various diamonds. Their yellow diamond library is no different. They have over 3,000 different yellow diamonds. Most of them come with GIA grading reports, or another reputable lab.

Not only do they carry natural yellow diamonds, but they have yellow lab grown diamonds as well.

Aside from the large selection, I like James Allen for a number of reasons. James Allen is everybody's diamond dealer. The company doesn't judge you based on your wallet.

You also get complete transparency with them through their 360˚ viewing technology. James Allen allows you to survey each stone, which allows you to see any natural inclusions that might appear in lower clarity grades. 

Perhaps one of the best perks when buying a James Allen ring is that they have a lifetime warranty for all of their jewelry. This free warranty not only design flaws, but also wear and tear.

James Allen covers nicks and dents, as well as rhodium plating white gold, cleaning, and tightening stones. You also get one free resizing within the first year, just in case your ring didn't fit quite right. 

Yellow diamond at James Allen

#2 Buying Yellow Diamonds at Blue Nile

Buying Yellow Diamonds at Blue Nile
Buying Yellow Diamonds at Blue Nile

Blue Nile also has the largest selection selection of natural yellow diamonds today They have around 4,000 loose yellow diamonds. They also have yellow lab diamond jewelry, but not loose diamonds. 

They have controllable 360˚ viewing but not on all of their diamonds. It doesn't seem like they have it on the Fancy Intense and darker yellow diamonds, which is a bummer. You can't really tell how accurate a picture is. But, they have a 30-day return policy, so if you find it's not what you're looking for, they've got free returns. 

They also tell you the hue range of every yellow diamond, just in case your computer colors are off, which we know can happen from time to time. That should narrow it down further for you, which is a super helpful solve. 

Blue Nile Pear-Shaped Diamond

All of the diamonds—colorless and fancy colored alike—in Blue Nile's inventory are GIA certified. Diamonds with GIA or AGS certifications are the most dependable and valuable diamonds. 

They're constantly being praised not only for their 24/7 service, but also for their strong and reliable rep with customers as the first online retailer in diamonds in 1999. That's one of the reason why someone might pay a little more for a Blue Nile diamond than one from an unknown retailer. 

Like some of our other retailers, they don't have any warranty options, other than the free manufacturer's warranty. 

Light Yellow Pear Shaped Diamond

#3 Buying Yellow Diamonds at Ritani

Buying Yellow Diamonds at Ritani

Ritani might ring a bell for some of you who might be familiar with original designer names like Cartier, Harry Winston, and Tiffany. Ritani is first and foremost a designer ring setting company, but they now sell loose diamonds as well. The old CEO of Blue Nile actually runs Ritani now. 

The only colored diamonds Ritani carries are yellow diamonds. You'll have to go to their main diamonds page and select the color filter to see the yellow diamonds. I don't have an easier way to get there other than search bar. 

Despite their hard-to-get attitude, Ritani has a pretty good selection of yellow diamonds. They carry about 2,400 of them, with 2,100 of them at least 0.5 carats. Majority of their collection are natural diamonds and light colored. They only carry 4 Vivid Yellow lab created diamonds

I'm not a fan of their viewer because it's a looped video you can't control. I also don't like how some have HD photos, some have video, and some have both. 

All of them should have video, but they only carry diamonds with SI clarity or higher, so you shouldn't have to worry about unattractive inclusions. 

Like Blue Nile, Ritani sticks to only the best diamond certifications, the GIA and AGS. They also include a price analysis that lets you know how the price is broken down. Ritani's diamond prices are pretty competitive, but the ring settings are higher because they're designer. 

One of the biggest things they have going for them is a free lifetime warranty that covers routine maintenance. All you have to do is sign up online in order to use it. It also covers sizing within the first year. 

Ritani 0.51 Carat Cushion Yellow Diamond

#4 Buying Yellow Diamonds at Brilliant Earth

Buying Yellow Diamonds at Brilliant Earth

Brilliant Earth is an online diamond retailer that many are familiar with. Their "Beyond Conflict-Free" campaign is one of the biggest draws to the company. They can identify the origins of all their diamonds. Even though we only recommend conflict-free retailers, most diamond retailers can't tell you exactly which mine that diamond comes from.

They carry a small collection of both natural and lab yellow diamonds, with around 21 natural yellow diamonds and 8 lab yellow diamonds. It's a varied selection though with different intensities and even a hue change like this gorgeous orangey yellow diamond below: 

One of my favorite things about Brilliant Earth is that they actually allow you to see what your diamond will look like in the different setting options they offer. Most online retailers have this for colorless diamonds, but not for their colored section. Even James Allen doesn't do this. You can't see it in the 360˚ video, but at least while you're browsing. 

Brilliant Earth also has a manufacturer's warranty. They do have an Extended Service Plan, which is a 3-year warranty that you pay for based on a sliding scale. That's more than what some of our picks offer. After that, all routine maintenance is out of pocket. 

Brilliant Earth Fancy Vivid Orange-Yellow Pear Lab Created Diamond

FAQs When Buying Yellow Diamonds Jewelry Online

Are Yellow Diamonds Good for an Engagement Ring?

Any natural colored diamond will be suitable for an engagement ring, or daily wear. It doesn't matter if it's a small stone or large stone.

Lab-created diamonds have the same properties as natural diamonds, so they are just as dirt-resistant. 

Image by the National Park Service. Public Domain.

The Moh Scale of Hardness, is a rating system 1-10 to determine the overall hardness of minerals and gemstones. Hardness is a minerals' resistance to dirt, dust, and scratches. Diamonds rate a 10, making them the hardest mineral known to man.

Certain color treatments or enhancements might alter the color of your yellow diamond engagement ring in high heat or sunlight, which we'll talk about down the road. 

Are Yellow Diamonds More Expensive?

A natural yellow diamond that has received no treatment is going to be more expensive than a colorless diamond of similar quality.

However, yellow is the most common of the fancy color diamonds, so many of them are comparable in price to colorless diamonds. But once you get into larger weights over 1 carat, you'll see the price increase drastically. 

Read also>> Should you buy a 1 carat diamond ring?

Even though the cut of a colored diamond is important of the foundation, it's not a big factor on its price. The main thing is to make sure it's shaped well. Most choose fancy diamond shapes for colored diamonds since round diamonds reflect more white light. 

Color intensity is most often the biggest factor in price, especially if it's natural and untreated. Even treated natural colored diamonds go for a high price. 

What Should You Look for When Buying Yellow Diamonds Online?

Even though you have many options to purchase a yellow diamond ring, you'll want to purchase one of high quality. How do you do this? Leave it to me.

Let's break down the 4cs of yellow diamonds to help you pick out the best your money can buy. 

Cut

With colorless diamonds, cut serves as the groundwork of the masterpiece that will soon sit on your finger. Cut is the foundation that determines overall brilliance due to return of light within the stone. But with a fancy color diamond like the yellow diamond, cut is not the deciding factor for a high quality center stone. 

With a yellow diamond, your cut grade will be fine at a Very Good Cut or Good Cut, if the company has them sorted. You mostly need to eyeball and make sure the sides are even and the overall shape is smooth. You'll be able to distinguish a good cut from a bad one, based on the outline and shape of the yellow diamond. 

The downside to this that these terms are only applicable toward round brilliant cut grades. Other fancy shapes do not have official cut grades on reports. 

Overall, they say the best cut shape for yellow diamond is a radiant, which combines both brilliant and step cutting techniques. You get the sparkle of a brilliant cut diamond, but the color is still apparent. 

Yellow diamonds cut

Color

Yellow Diamonds are most valued by their color and their color tone, hue, and saturation. But instead on grading them individually, the GIA takes into account all three factors and sums them up into one grading system.

The tone of a yellow diamond is dependent on how much nitrogen is has been imparted into the natural crystal. The tone of a colored gemstone or diamond determines how light or dark the colored stone is. If the tone is light in a yellow diamond, it's more likely to have higher saturation.

Yellow diamonds that are too dark can appear brownish yellow or grayish yellow, although the GIA doesn't recognize gray as a secondary hue to yellow diamonds.

gem tone scale

The grading terms for fancy diamonds can be found as follows: Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Deep, Fancy Intense, or Fancy Vivid. You can have a fancy light purplish pink diamond and it can also be Fancy intense. 

They determine this by assessing tone and saturation. Any of these terms can apply to yellow diamonds with any hue. Yellow diamonds with a light or faint yellow tone can be referred to as Cape Diamonds. Yellow diamonds with a grade of fancy vivid or fancy intense yellow are referred to as canary yellow diamonds. 

The hue of a colored gemstone is the presence of that color within that stone. A pure hue is most desirable and valuable. There are some gemstones in which certain secondary colors increase value. 

Color

Yellow Diamonds are most valued by their color and their color tone, hue, and saturation. But instead on grading them individually, the GIA takes into account all three factors and sums them up into one grading system.

Most colored diamonds will have secondary hues of other colors. Yellow diamonds can have secondary colors of orange or green. Greenish yellow diamonds are going to be less expensive and more common.

Yellow Diamond Hues from Leibish & Co. 

When we talk about saturation of a colored diamond, we're referring to how intense the hue of that stone is. You already know that a fancy light yellow diamond is going to have a higher saturation than one with a darker tone.

If both tone and saturation are strong in the stone, it's referred to as fancy deep yellow. These stones are considered to be Canary Yellow Diamonds. 

Canary Yellow Diamonds

Clarity

Clarity for yellow diamonds should be eye clean. So, if you're purchasing a heavily included yellow diamond like an I2 or I3, you're probably not getting a very good one. An I1 is still heavily included, but it's possible to get a nice looking one, for a cheaper price. Our recommendation for yellow diamond clarity would be an SI1 or SI2

If you're looking at a diamond online, you want to be able to see high quality imaging or video of the diamond. Two I1 yellow diamonds of the same quality could look very different.

Look for a diamond whose inclusions are placed on the edge, not right smack in the middle. That's why stock images when buying jewelry online isn't the best way to go. 

Read also>> Which diamond inclusions are the worst for your diamond?

The tone of the diamond can also contribute to your decision in clarity grading. For instance, a faint yellow diamond will bring out dark inclusions, making them extremely noticeable. But a brownish yellow diamond with a darker tone may hide them less noticeable. 

where to buy yellow diamonds online
where to buy yellow diamonds online

Fancy colored diamonds are divided into types, similar to color gemstones. Fancy color diamonds are divided into Type Ia, Type IIa, Type Ib and Type IIb. 

Type Ia colored diamonds contain nitrogen throughout the crystal structure. This creates a yellowish color, which makes fancy yellow and orange diamonds a Type Ia colored diamond, mostly. About 98% of yellow diamonds are Type Ia. 

Type II colored diamonds have a different fluorescence and no visible absorption. Type IIa fancy diamonds are considered the most rare. Since nitrogen is what causes the yellow color in yellow diamonds, they can't be a Type II. 

Type Ib diamonds absorb both yellow and blue light. Most canary yellow diamonds are Type Ib diamonds. 

Carat

While cut and clarity don't usually contribute to the overall value of the gem, carat is of utmost importance, right below color. Only about 1 in 10,000 diamonds mined will be a fancy colored diamond.

That statistic doesn't include hues, saturation, tones, clarity or carat weight. Yellow diamonds are the most common colored diamond, so a 1 carat yellow diamond is going to be less expensive than a pink or blue diamond. But as carat weight increases, yellow diamond price rises quite rapidly.

A lot of people think carats are the actual size of a diamond. This is in large part due to the jewelry industry. We measure everything in weight not size. For example, a 1 carat pear shaped diamond is going to look smaller than a 1 carat emerald cut diamond. This is because the weight is still the same, but the surface area will always be different based on the diamond shape. 

What Are the Red Flags When Buying Yellow Diamonds Online?

Most of us can't afford to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a stone that sits on our hand. Even more importantly, most don't want to. So what do we do? We scour the pages of Google, looking for the cheapest deal. 

The truth of the matter is, diamonds are expensive. There is no such thing as a cheap, flawless, and untreated yellow diamond. 

In recent times, local gemstone sellers have taken to various social media sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram to sell stones from the country of origin. Most of the time, they are significantly lower priced than what you'd find at one of our recommended sites, depending on quality of course. But it can be hard to weed out the dishonest sellers from the legitimate ones. 

Read also>> Ways to know if your diamond is real

A common dishonest practice is claiming gemstones to be mined, but are actually lab-created. While the two are both natural and real, they must be properly distinguished. For someone who doesn't know yellow diamonds, they could be paying untreated prices for a lab created yellow diamond. Lab-created diamonds also have zero resale value, so you definitely don't want to pay those prices and find out you can't resell it.

Of course, this isn't to say that all gemstone dealers on these apps will give you this experience. But just to cover your bases, you should purchase from a reputable dealer with a known customer base. You should also make sure to review the return policy. 

Every company we've mentioned here is a reputable yellow diamond dealer and has received a stamp of approval.

How do you get the Best Deal When Buying Yellow Diamonds Online?

I'm going to leave you with a couple lasting tips to remember when buying yellow diamonds online. 

Choosing a Ring Setting

All of the companies in this article also sell ring settings of various prices. Some have metal detailing like filagree or milgrain. Others may be a high polished metal. Many ring settings include melee diamonds or accent diamonds.

The ring setting you choose for your yellow diamond could save you on the cost of your yellow diamond. 

Read also>> Which ring setting should you buy for an engagement ring?

If you're on a tighter budget but really want a natural, untreated yellow diamond, there are ways to shave the costs down a bit. If your yellow diamond engagement ring is set in white gold or platinum, the center will look more yellow. A faint yellow color may appear just a bit darker. Yellow gold ring settings will make it look less yellow, which you don't want. 

Know the Treatments

Yellow diamonds can also be treated to enhance color or clarity, whether they are mine or lab-created. There are a variety of treatments that can be applied to yellow diamonds. Each one should be disclosed by the seller or on the certification. 

The most common technique used to treat yellow diamonds is high pressure, high temperature (HPHT). The high pressure makes the diamond more yellow, and it's permanent. HPHT treated diamonds are safe for everyday wear, even in the sun. These are significantly less expensive than untreated yellow diamonds of the same quality. 

Irradiated yellow diamonds have been treated with radiation, making the color more intense. They are vulnerable to high heat, so make sure to disclose the treatment to a jeweler before he works on it. 

While I don't recommend any treatments, not everyone can afford that luxury. If you must purchase a treated yellow diamond, I'd go with a HPHT one. But I absolutely would not go with any sort of coating. They have to be kept up with and go away during wear. 

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